A designer and architect demonstrate how to create an eclectic blend of styles in their historic Sarasota home.
By Carol Tisch
The past and present harmonize brilliantly in the home of designer Susan Hritz Scholz of SHS Design and architect Clifford M. Scholz of CMSA. Built in 1916, and known as the Samuel T. Humber House, the home is one of the oldest in Sarasota’s historic Bungalow Hill subdivision.
But its classic Dutch Colonial Revival exterior belies the fashionable global mix of periods and styles inside. “The style is transitional eclectic, and it works with the house because it’s timeless,” Susan explains. Indeed, mix and match has never looked so current—and chic.
Susan combines family antiques with comfortable transitional seating, layering in art and artifacts from the couple’s travels. “Make your travel souvenirs worthwhile—they’re essential to eclectic style and they personalize a room,” she advises. “Don’t buy anything smaller than a basketball [small pieces don’t work], and always bring an extra suitcase when you travel.”
Basic built-ins in the home’s period style, added when the couple remodeled, are styled with objects that add texture and character, including a set of books on sewing, circa 1929, from Susan’s grandmother, a dressmaker for a New York fashion designer.
Family antiques personalizing the Scholz home include an armchair with carved oak frame from Susan’s mother. “It was covered with green and gold damask when I inherited it,” says Susan, who refreshed it with chic brocade animal print.
Pieces acquired during travel, like the vintage wooden sugar mold found in Costa Rica and now holding large candles on the fireplace mantel, add stylish global eclecticism, harmonizing the local with the exotic.
The eclectic look is epitomized by the placement of a contemporary Henry Miller painting over the home’s 1916 fireplace. “Cliff and I bought it on our honeymoon in Pebble Beach—we fell in love with it. We like soft, comfortable furnishings but prefer contemporary art,” Susan says.
An Art Deco-inspired chest by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams is clad in antiqued mirror and finished with old world hardware. The chest is topped with hand-carved candlesticks purchased at a Guyana market. Sarasota’s Custom Hardwoods incorporated the figures into a piece of sculpture.
The neutral textured sisal rug was chosen because the room’s floor vents necessitated a square rug, and “Few fibers other than sisal are available in irregular sizes,” Susan explains. The natural fiber resort coastal look adds another eclectic layer to the room.
Coffee tables are trending larger, and designer magazines often show two side by side like Susan’s, with enough space to accommodate trays for coffee, tea or snacks, and also for use as a footrest.
A stunning conversation piece, the contemporized wing chair by Noir is covered in burlap with dark nailhead trim. “It has such great bones; so much can be done with it. And it’s very comfortable—it embraces you,” Susan says.